Sermon for Sunday, February 18, 2024

In the beginning…Baptism

Mark 1:9-15

Lent Year B, the Revised Common Lectionary

First Sunday of Lent[1]

Mark 1:9–15 (NLT): 9 One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

12 The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, 13 where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.

14 Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. 15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near*! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

*ἐγγίζω (eng-id’-zo)- approach, be at hand, come

Genesis 9:8–17 (NKJV): 8 Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: 9 “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. 11 Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Psalm 25:1–10 (NIV): 1 In you, LORD my God,

         I put my trust.

      2 I trust in you;

         do not let me be put to shame,

         nor let my enemies triumph over me.

      3 No one who hopes in you

         will ever be put to shame,

         but shame will come on those

         who are treacherous without cause.

      4 Show me your ways, LORD,

         teach me your paths.

      5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,

         for you are God my Savior,

         and my hope is in you all day long.

      6 Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love,

         for they are from of old.

      7 Do not remember the sins of my youth

         and my rebellious ways;

         according to your love remember me,

         for you, LORD, are good.

      8 Good and upright is the LORD;

         therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.

      9 He guides the humble in what is right

         and teaches them his way.

      10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful

         toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.

1 Peter 3:18–22 (NLT): 18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

19 So he went and preached to the spirits in prison—20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. 21 And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

22 Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority.


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